Lieutenant Joshua Pogue set a meeting for me to meet with Captain Zebullah, the assistant S-3 officer for 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps, Afghan National Army on Sunday. I went to the meeting very excited as this would possibly be a small new chapter for the Afghanistan Water Polo story. Bringing organized swimming and water polo to Helmand Province would be a big undertaking, just like starting the 201st Corps Swim and Water Polo Team in Pol-e-Charki.
Josh was nice enough to coordinate a linguist to join us. Hakim, who has been working with Josh over the past few months, is a very nice Afghan who has been very interested in the Afghanistan National Water Polo project since Josh told him about it.
Captain Zebullah offered for me to sit in his chair in his office and also offered all the chai that we could drink and all of the treats that we could eat. He wanted to know everything there was to know about me. Where I was from, where I worked here, about my family, and the all important question, if I had any children. I answered all of his questions and asked the same questions of him. He also tried to add the few English words and phrases that he knew into the conversation. I was very impressed by his language abilities, especially since he just started learning English, his sixth language.
Captain Zebullah was very keen on the idea of starting a swim and water polo team aboard Shorabak. He was very concerned on who was going to fix the pool and how we were going to determine who was going to be on the team. I told him to work with the Shorabak Garrison Commander on fixing the pool and the selection of the team. I suggested that the 205th Corps and Shorabak Garrison can select soldiers from all of the units. He concurred and said that my idea was very fair. He then asked what I and the Marines could do to fix the pool. I explained that the request to fix the pool must go to the Shorabak Garrison Commander and he will work it. He said he would take care of it.
As I had to go back to work, we said our goodbyes. It was a great meeting and I am looking forward to the next meeting with Captain Zebullah about introducing water polo to Helmand Province Afghanistan.